Season two of The Crown dropped into Netflix on the weekend. The historical backdrop is the Suez Crisis which earned the future Prime Minister of Canada, Lester Pearson, the Nobel Prize for “saving the world.” I wondered who would play his character. John Lithgow’s portrayal of Churchill in Season one was captivating. Surely someone of his calibre. Kenneth Branagh? Tom Hanks?
How silly of me. There wasn’t a whisper of a mention of Pearson.
It’s one thing for a tv show to ignore the diplomacy which allowed all sides in that explosive crisis to save face. But surely Encyclopedia Britannica would reference his accomplishments which included the creation of the UN’s first peacekeeping force. And how he sorted out the political maze that England, France, Russia and the US couldn’t.
Curious and curiouser.
Next I checked the website of the U.S. Office of the Historian.
Not a mention there either.
Another sober reminder that history is distorted not just by tv shows but by imperial powers. Best to pay attention to one’s sources. If they don’t know about those facts, what else don’t they know?
PS: The 2017 Nobel Peace prize was just awarded to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear weapons, (ICAN). The campaign originated in Australia. Read more here. Setsuko Nakamura, a Canadian who survived the nuclear bomb attack on Hiroshima jointly accepted the award on behalf of ICAN on December 10, 2017.
Here is the link to Pearson’s Nobel Prize presentation and acceptance speech.
Andrew Cohen’s book on Lester Pearson is well worth the read.
The best defence of peace is not power, but the removal of the causes of war and international agreements which will put peace on a stronger foundation, than the terror of destruction. (Lester B Pearson)